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Etsy meets aggressive supply chain carbon goal

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Handmade and vintage goods e-commerce retailer Etsy is making up for carbon emissions caused by its shipments.

Starting today, each time someone buys an item on Etsy, the e-tailer will automatically purchase verified emissions reductions, more commonly known as “offsets.” Etsy is partnering with climate and renewable energy services provider 3Degrees to make offset purchases that support environmental projects. These projects include forest protection, wind and solar farms, and development of green production methods for auto parts.

Etsy is taking this step after identifying shipments from sellers to buyers as causing 98% of its total carbon emissions. There will not be any additional cost to sellers or buyers. Etsy estimates total cost of the program will be about one penny per package. On Feb. 28, Etsy will offset shipping emissions for the entire U.S. e-commerce sector, estimated at 55,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.

Moving forward, Etsy says it intends to seek out new opportunities to collaborate with industry leaders, shippers, and policymakers to develop long-term reduction solutions. This program follows other Etsy environmental efforts, such as enabling the development of a new solar farm, migration to the Google Cloud platform, and installation of solar panels at corporate offices. Etsy achieved a goal of running zero waste operations globally in 2018, two years ahead of schedule, and says it is on track to use 100% renewable electricity by 2020.

Etsy is not the only major global e-commerce retailer focused on reducing the carbon impact of shipping. Amazon recently launched a new program called “Shipment Zero” to create net zero carbon emissions for 50% of its shipments by 2030. Leveraging improvements in electric vehicles, aviation bio fuels, reusable packaging, and renewable energy, Shipment Zero is part of a larger long-term goal for Amazon to have net zero carbon emissions for all deliveries and to power 100% of its global infrastructure using 100% renewable energy.
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